While almost all of New Mandala‘s attention has been on Thailand recently, we should not forget that politics in Burma continues to pivot in some new directions. From an Australian perspective, the visit of Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to Yangon and Naypyidaw is particularly notable. The Myanmar Times has a long article about Rudd’s time in Burma which includes a few quotes from me towards the end.
Many of us will be curious to see whether any small changes in Australian Burma policy follow the Foreign Minister’s visit.
As an aside, and on the general topic of Aung San Suu Kyi, today I have an essay in the Australian Literary Review (which is published as a supplement in The Australian). That essay discusses a new book about Burma’s most famous political figure. It does not appear to be online yet but once a link appears I will be sure to pass it along. My final two lines capture the thrust of the review:
[Aung San] Suu Kyi, in the end, may help drive the much-needed reform of this system. In the meantime there is value in focusing our attention on the complexity of Burma’s politics without seeking simple comfort in the suggestion that one woman’s struggle will bring freedom to all.
As ever, comments from New Mandala readers about Kevin Rudd’s visit to Burma, or more generally about the position of Aung San Suu Kyi, are very welcome.